Monday, September 14, 2015

Physical Education Mustangs!

Hello!  Greetings from the lower school physical education department - Gym C to be specific!  My name is Peggy Fifield and I will be your son/daugher's physical education teacher this year.  This is my 19th year teaching at Breck School.  I remember when I was in 7th grade, I decided to become a physical education teacher.   I guess I loved the idea of blowing a whistle and wearing sweatpants all day!   Each day I look forward to teaching the students new skills, activities, and challenging them to work outside their "comfort zone".   Fitness is very important to me in my daily life.  I hope I can impress the students  to embrace physical activity and for them to realize the joy and importance of moving their bodies.

During the summer of 2014 I received a Breck summer grant to attend a yoga retreat in Guatemala.  It was wonderful!  Throughout the year, I will use my yoga knowledge to encourage the students to be more mindful, self confident, and to explore the various yoga based movements to improve their fitness and self awareness.

I am looking forward to a great year with fun, exciting, and challenging activities.  Students will participate in manipulatives, rhythms, fitness related skills/evaluations, swimming, skating, gymnastics, movement awareness activities, multicultural games, and track and field.  Each unit last for two blocks - receiving 8 physical education classes per unit.  All students in grades 1-4 participate in physical education 4 days out of the 6 day cycle.

The first day of class I stressed the importance of the KEYS TO SUCCESS IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION. 

1.  RESPECT RULE -  to respect the instructor, students, equipment and building.
2.  SAFETY RULE - our actions do not endanger ourselves or others.
3.  WELCOME RULE - all children are welcomed into any activity as long as they play by the rules
4.  HUSTLE -  and give your best effort.

Unit 1 -(August 31 - September 16 ) - Body Management 
What?  Body Management - what do I mean by that?  Well, the body management unit is crucial to body awareness, spatial awareness, and the ability to perform locomotor and non- locomotor skills.  This unit allows the students many opportunities to develop the basic locomotor skills such as galloping, skipping, hopping, jumping,sliding, leaping, and of course, the favorite - running!  The students explore the relationships of different body parts to each other and to their environment.
Students enjoy the challenges of creating many fun shapes - like letters!  Can you determine what letter they are forming?
  
                                                            Show me the Letter "T"

                                                          
                                                            Now it's the girls' turn!


                                                                      A Partner "T"

                                                        
                                                    How about a letter "T" at a low level?
                                             Boys are at the top - and girls are at the bottom



Students enjoy performing the various ways of traveling forward, backward, and sideward – at all levels (low, medium, and high.)  Pathways and different patterns are performed as students move while performing various locomotor skills in zigzagged, curved, straight, winding, and spiral routes.   Students’ work with partners as one another tries to guess what pathway/pattern their partner is performing.  

                                                          "Oh - O - how beautiful!"


                                                                  Letter O again!


                                                          .............and AGAIN!


                                                          "F" for fabulous - or "Fifield"


Relays are an integral part of the body management unit.  All classes enjoy the many tasks involved in different relays – but must understand how to perform the relays safely and efficiently.   
All classes discovered new forms of balance stunts.  Students were challenged to balance on 1 body part, 2 body parts, 3 body parts, 7 body parts – I saw many creative and challenging balances at various levels.  They also worked with classmates to form static balances.

All classes are still working on performing the various warm-up fitness skills correctly.  The push-up or plank position is a great skill to build total body strength and demonstrate proper body awareness.  Tips to remember while performing the plank – STRAIGHT BODY!  No banana back or drawbridge!   Flexibility exercises are incorporated into each lesson and students are working diligently to increase their range of movement.  Yoga postures have been introduced to students and they feel really “cool” performing the poses.

Key words in the body management unit:  pathways, patterns, core, abdominals, acceleration, deceleration, symmetry, asymmetrical, leaping, cross lateral, down dog, and body control!

Our next unit begins on Day 1,  September 17th.  We will meet in the fieldhouse and our focus will be on various ball handling skills.

I hope to meet and speak with many of you on Thursday, September 17th at the annual Back to School night.  Keep moving, and don't forget your sneakers!





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